Time honours work of strong silence breakers
WITH the faces of five women – including celebrities Taylor Swift and Ashley Judd – on the cover of Time magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year issue, you could be forgiven for missing a subtle nod to a sixth.
But it’s there – in the form of a velvet-clad elbow.
“The Silence Breakers” – the social movement aimed at raising awareness about sexual harassment and assault – represents a broad range of people, mostly women, from the first public accusers of disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, to those who shared their stories of abuse using the hashtag #MeToo.
Along with Swift and Judd are former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, lobbyist Adama Iwu and strawberry picker and Mexican immigrant Isabel Pascual.
The elbow in the lower right corner belongs to an anonymous young hospital worker from Texas who was a victim of sexual harassment and feared disclosing her identity would affect her family.
She told Time she remembered “vivid details” about what had happened to her.
“I thought, ‘What just happened? Why didn’t I react?’ ‘Did I do something, did I say something, did I look a certain way to make him think that was OK?’” she said. Time’s Edward Felsenthal said: “This is the fastest moving social change we’ve seen in decades and it began with individual acts of courage by hundreds of women and some men too ... who came forward to tell their stories.”